Our Blog


August 6, 2018

cba pro bono checklist coverA Pro Bono Checklist for Success

A good pro bono program takes work to develop, maintain, and improve. It requires a lot of planning to ensure it meets the needs of the client population, fills a gap in existing resources, and incorporates feedback from all stakeholders. It should have clear criteria for screening cases and a plan for periodic review and adjustment to reflect changes in the community, the law, or the courts.

If that sounds like a lot to think about, that’s because it is. Fortunately, the CBF has created a tool to help organizations looking to establish new pro bono programs to think through these and the many other issues that are critical to designing and implementing a successful program.

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August 3, 2018

ypb group photoYoung Professionals Dive in at the CBF

Young legal professionals today are busier than ever. Between balancing challenging work obligations and growing families, we’re grateful for the dedication of some of our best ambassadors:  the members of the CBF’s Young Professionals Board (YPB).

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August 2, 2018

legal aid committee group photoCBA Legal Aid Committee: Sometimes You Want to Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Of the 100+ committees that the Chicago Bar Association provides, an attorney is sure to find a place to call home among like-minded professionals in their field. The legal aid community is no exception.

The CBF is proud to partner with and staff the CBA Legal Aid Committee, bringing together representatives from pro bono and legal aid organizations to address topics of common interest and to share information with one another. The Committee also works to further the understanding that each legal aid organization is part of a broader network in order to encourage collaboration and foster a sense of community.

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July 31, 2018

A Friendly Guide in the Courthouse Maze

Through the CBF’s work to make the courts more user-friendly and accessible for the growing number of people without lawyers, it became clear that court patrons often have a more immediate challenge than the legal issue that brought them there. People coming to court on their own often have a difficult time navigating a building […]

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July 27, 2018

ypb guestsSummer Fun with the CBF Young Professionals Board

A Chicago summer is short, but there’s always time for hanging out with friends and enjoying the weather while it lasts. In our first 70 years at the CBF, one of our key goals in bringing Chicago’s legal community together around our common cause of equal access to justice always has been to have fun […]

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July 26, 2018

CBF Op-ed in Crain’s Makes the Case for Innovation in the Practice of Law

In an op-ed in Crain’s Chicago Business, CBF President Carrie Di Santo and CBF Executive Director Bob Glaves lay out why the Chicago legal community needs to commit to doing things differently and how that will expand legal assistance for people left out of the market now.

While the causes of the current failure in the market for legal services are complex and long in the making, the urgency for change could not be clearer. Unfortunately, too many lawyers don’t see the problems firsthand in their practices and thus cling to long-held traditions despite stark evidence that the current system is not working for the majority of the public.

Read the article…

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July 25, 2018

cbf presidents70 Years of CBF Presidents

As we welcome Carrie Di Santo as the CBF’s 37th President since our inception in 1948, we reflect on the many leaders in Chicago’s legal community and beyond who have steered the CBF.

Past Presidents of the CBF include legal legends like George Overton and Esther Rothstein, general counsel of Fortune 500 companies, founders and leaders of prominent law firms, and many other noteworthy leaders in Chicago’s legal community.

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July 24, 2018

A Fool for a Client? How to Avoid Playing the Fool

Part 4 of a 4-part series

Having identified the core roles lawyers play that are most important for someone facing a legal problem and what that means for our profession, today’s series finale looks at things from the perspective of the person facing a legal problem.

How can we best help people facing legal issues assess when they realistically can do things on their own, when they need a lawyer, and how much lawyer they need to achieve a just yet cost-effective outcome for their case?

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July 23, 2018

terry dee and carrie disanto presidentsTerry Dee Wraps Up Successful Year as CBF President

The CBF is grateful for the vision, commitment, and leadership of Terry Dee as our 36th Board President over the last year and throughout the many years of his involvement with the CBF.

Even before he joined the board in 2011, Terry was a leader in pro bono and the Investing in Justice Campaign at Kirkland & Ellis. Now at McDermott Will & Emery, Terry has continued that leadership and accomplished much more, taking development efforts to a new level as chair of the Development Committee and setting an example in his own support. He has recently become more involved in the CBF’s advocacy work also. Throughout his involvement, Terry has been a terrific leader and representative for the CBF in the community.

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July 23, 2018

carrie disanto speaking at board meetingCarrie Di Santo Takes the Helm as New CBF President

Carrie Di Santo, global chief compliance officer and managing director of enterprise risk management at CME Group, is the 37th President of The Chicago Bar Foundation.

At the CBF’s board meeting today, outgoing CBF President Terry Dee passed the proverbial gavel to Carrie. Other CBF Officers for fiscal year 2019 include:

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